29 Aug 2011

"Corporate Loyalty" - An Oxymoron!

“Attrition is so these days! Nobody wants to stick around!” quips a corporate professional (probably some days before he decides to jump companies himself). Job hopping has become a common phenomenon these da
ys. A person who sticks for long in a company is looked at either suspiciously or sympathetically.
'Corporate Loyalty' has now been termed an oxymoron by a few pundits. Apparently no employee likes to hang around in one organization for more than 2 – 3 years. But when and why did this phenomenon occur? Cynics claim it is because we are part of the so – called impatient generation; that we do not like sticking around. I beg to differ. Are we not brand loyalists? Don't we stay loyal to brands and fail to adopt anything else even if the latter is better? Don't we have friends whom we have known for decades? We still stay in regular touch with them however busy we may be.

The answer, I believe, lies within the companies itself. It lies with their favourite word – Consolidation. This adopted concept in which they have started 'compartmentalizing' jobs is the main cause of this unrest amongst individuals.

When organizations were just planting their feet in the ground, people who joined faced challenges. Their job roles were varied and encompassed a lot of responsibilities. They were not restricted to departments, designations, procedures, manuals, etc. Instead they wrote manuals for the years to come. There was a sense of enjoyment, accomplishment. They looked forward to going to work to handle and conquer a new challenge. They stayed loyal to same company, and got rewarded accordingly. Monetary benefits did not matter much; recognition and gratitude did. They liked gifts they got from their organizations which made them feel cared for.

Then companies stabilized. They started 'consolidating'. They started restricting job roles of employees. Anything new attempted by an employee was shot down by procedures and policies. And the warmth between employees and employers ended somewhere there. Now employees are expected to do a certain amount of work, and it is compared to the amount of money they are paid. That is the new benchmark. Respect, recognition, etc. seem to be lost and salary increments, petty politics, the demand for unearthly hours without any remuneration other than monetary have taken over. The fun is gone; there are no more challenges. People have their jobs decided by the industry and it is weighed vis – a – vis their pay. Is it surprising that they jump jobs to do the same thing all over again for a slightly larger pay?

Organizations, in order to improve employee morale and loyalty, need to look at non – monetary benefits. Many claim they implement job rotation, but how beneficial is it? Organizations must look at building a more human relationship with its employees. I don't think I need to list those steps as a lot of those are already listed in books; the only problem is very few organizations care to implement them. The bond between an organization and its employees decides how 'loyal' one is to his/her organization.

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